Louise and Jason: Living Unrelated Donors
I share my spare
This story appeared on 8 September 2015 – Rouse Hill Times and has been adapted for the LKDP website
This young couple are advocates for living organ donation and how it impacted on their young family
If you had to risk a kidney failure to have a child or have no children knowing that later you may need a kidney transplant or be on dialysis, what would you do?
That was the dilemma one couple, Louise and Jason had to face three years ago.
Louise was diagnosed at the age of seven with reflux kidney disease (a kidney conditions some individuals are born with that can lead to chronic kidney scarring).
She met her perfect match in husband Jason, and soon the decision to have children was upon them. With her condition there was a risk of complications and Mrs Ryan’s kidney function could deteriorate during the pregnancy and after giving birth.
“We had pre-emptive tests to see if Jason would be a match, in case I needed a kidney transplant,” she said. “As it turned out he was considered a very rare ‘perfect match’.”
Throughout the pregnancy Louise was monitored by specialists. However, as predicted, her kidney function deteriorated after their son James was born and the reality of needing an urgent organ ¬donation hit home. In the midst of starting life with a newborn, the couple had to juggle being worked up for a kidney transplant. The work up took many months but soon the operation date was upon them. The help of family and friends was required to help this young family through the hospital stay and the recovery afterwards. A toddler and an operation scar can make lifting and housework somewhat challenging!
“It was a very freaky experience for me, as I had never needed to go to hospital in my life and I just remember seeing all these contraptions hanging from the ceiling,” Jason said. Just like most donors he was fit and active and would never have any need for a major operation like a kidney being removed. He was in hospital for a few days recovering and soon was able to return home. His recovery was many weeks as the family household had to manage himself the donor, his wife the recipient and their 2 year old toddler.
For Louise the transplant was a success. Her bloods quickly showed her kidney was working and that she had accepted Jason’s kidney.
Louise was recovering in hospital on the date of her son’s second birthday. A poignant start to this family’s change in events.
“I believe we can now explain to our son, “what daddy did for mummy is so we can look after him and watch him grow. It also allows everyone to have a conversation about organ donation,” Lousie said.
The couple now speak about their experience at the Royal North Shore Hospital with people considering being an organ donor or are waiting to receive an organ.